Saturday, 15 June 2013

Progress, and trying new things.

Well, another skating session is behind me, and I am loving being back on weekday ice. All my friends are here, and it's just seriously good fun. So, I went to the rink for another practice session and general good time, and am finally making some progress.

My blades are now at the point where I can stop again - phew! So, after a bit of practice, I grabbed my coach when she'd finished teaching for the morning and showed her my backwards snowploughs. Hooray, they were of a passable standard! So that means it\s just the elusive backwards 1 foot glides standing between me and passing Skate UK Level 5. 

It feels like I've been stuck on these forever, but talking to a few friends round the rink, Level 5 seems to be a sticking point for a lot of people. Anyway, I was practicing the backwards glides, but on a curve, and a friend commented that they were improving, so that's good. I'll just keep plugging away at them, and eventually they'll be at a standard where they can be signed off. I also had a go at a prep exercise for forward outside 3 turns, where I start off doing a 2 foot turn, then lift one leg halfway through the turn. I can kind of do it, so that'll be handy for next lesson.

My coach is starting a dance club, on a Monday night and Tuesday lunchtime. My lovely skating friend and I are going this Monday, as she's very kindly said she'll give me a lift home in exchange for some fuel money. This is absolutely wonderful of her, as buses stop running to my town stupidly early from the rink. 

I'm looking forward to it, I've experimented with bits of dance in my lessons and enjoyed it, so it'll be nice to learn in a social environment, and hopefully make some more new friends. Due to the aforementioned buses, I'm going to be at the rink early, and that means I get to do another new thing.

I'm going to practice on patch ice (freestyle to my US readers). I have never been on a session like this, and I'm kind of nervous - what if everyone else is working on seriously high level moves and I'm just constantly in the way? I'll feel so self conscious, but hopefully the other skaters are nice and I'll be fine. 

I'll let you know how things go, next week :) 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Back in the Swing of Things

So, it has been a while since I last posted, and for that, I apologise. You know how it is, life sometimes just gets in the way of the fun stuff. 

Yesterday I went down to the rink and had my first private lesson in what seems like forever, and I got to talk to some of my fellow skaters too, which was something I missed when I had to skate at weekends. So, a few of us got chatting, and had a coffee before my lesson.

I got to see one of my closer skating friends which rekindled the friendly competition between us (she's one level above me) I only have 2 more elements I need to pass before we're back on the same level. She had her lesson before me, so I skated around, practicing and getting used to the sharpening on my blades.

That's a funny story actually. I saw my regular sharpening guy was back at the rink before I got on the ice and asked him to sharpen my blades, and he took a look, saying he'd check with my coach. She was amazed I wasn't happy on the edges, as they looked OK. But, as it turned out, I'm one of these people who likes really sharp blades. So he did a tiny amount of sharpening, to bring my inside edges up to standard, and sent me on my way, saying if the blades were too sharp he could tone them done a bit. 

Only problem? I can't stop at the moment - good thing I skate on quiet days!

So, my lesson. We signed off my forwards crossovers and 2 foot spin, and worked on the backwards one foot glide that has been eluding me. I need to work on these still, but they're actually closer to passing than I thought, so that's good. We also did backwards snowplough stops, these should get signed off after I can stop on my blades again haha.

We also did some prep for 3 turns, getting the 2 foot turn spot on, and also worked on my spin entry which produced better spins than I'd been doing during my practices. 

Before my lesson, my coach ran through a "simple" step sequence with me and my friend, and demonstrated it. We're going to have to learn that when we get to Level 10 - I am scared. It seems really complicated to me, but as we'll be learning each individual element in the levels before, it should be OK. Eventually.

After my lesson, she was teaching another lady, and then had us both doing a simpler step sequence, the only thing I struggled with, because we've not been through it yet, was the bunny hop. It was nice to start stringing moves together - gave me a good feeling.

There's also talk of doing a Christmas skating gala, which I so want to be a part of, so putting things into routines is good practice for that. I am going to start exploring music possibilities in a few more weeks, just for a little programme of my own making. Myself and another skater were talking costumes for this gala, and we think we're going to get cheap leotards and skirts and just wear those. 

Sounds like a plan to me, and will give me some more motivation for my weight loss, which currently stands at 16lbs since February. 

Until next time - skate safe, have fun, and be happy :)